A Play in 14 Scenes



The theatre is the most personal of our arts. All other arts work with an objective material. Only the theatre uses the living presence of the human being. The actor's art dies as he creates it.
~ Lee Strasberg

Beings are released through the truth, the final reality.
~ Dahli Lama

Soon you will be sitting on top of the world.
~ Fortune Cookie

THE REHEARSAL - Scene 1 - Why?

Scene 1:
Out of Black we fade up with what appears to be a single overhead spotlight. The spotlight forms a circular pool of light in an otherwise Empty Black Space. In the circle of light are Actor A and Actor B. Actor A is male, Actor B is female.

A: Why?

B: I don’t know.

A: Why?

B: I don’t care.

A: Why?

B: Just don’t.

A: Why?

B: Why? Why? Why what? I just don’t care.

A: You gotta care.

B: No I don’t.

A: Yes you do.

B: Why?

A: Cause it’s important.

B: Why?

A: Cause it is.

B: But I don’t care.

A: Why?

B: Just don’t.

A: How can you say that?

B: I just did.

A: But you gotta care.

B: No I don’t.

A: Yes you do.

B: No I don’t.

A: Yes you do.

B: No I Don’t!

A: This is stupid.

B: Very.

A: Well, at least we agree on something.

B: Not necessarily.

A: What?

B: You heard me.

A: I heard you but, what do you mean?

B: I think you know.

A: Oh, now you think you know what I’m thinking?

B: This is bullshit.

(Pause) Actor A begins to speak. Instead, Actor B speaks saying Actor A’s line.

B: You need to get a grip.

(Actor A pauses, befuddled.)

A: Ah...I ah...You need to get a grip.

B: You need to get a grip.

A: You need to get a grip.

B: You need to get a grip.

A: You need to get a grip!

B: You need to get a grip!

Director: Hold it! Hold it! Hold on! What’s going on here?

The Director’s voice is heard in the darkness. From behind the actors the Director appears out of the darkness and walks into the circle of light.

A: She keeps saying my line. “You need to get a grip” is my line.

Dir: Why does that bother you?

A: Because it does.

Dir: How does that make you feel?

A: Pissed.

Dir: Pissed?

A: Angry?

Dir: Angry.

A: Frustrated.

Dir: Why do you think you feel frustrated?

A: Because I am.

Dir: Do you feel loss?

A: I guess so.

Dir: Why?

A: Because it’s my line.

Dir: Why is it your line?

A: Because that’s how it’s written.

Dir: How do you see that?

A: Because that’s the way the writer wrote it.

Dir: I see.

A: It’s my line.

Dir: Just relax.

A: Don’t tell me to relax. It’s my fucking line!

Dir: Okay, okay, take it easy. We’ll fix it.
(The Director turns to Actor B.)

Dir: So, what’s the problem here?

B: No problem.

Dir: It is his line.

B: I know.

Dir: So?

B: So, what?

Dir: So...why are you saying it?

B: I like it.

Dir: The line?

B: Yes.

Dir: But it’s not your line.

B: I don’t care. It should be.

Dir: It should be?

B: Yes.

Dir: But it’s not written that way.

B: I don’t care.

Dir: But it’s your job to fill the role.

B: The character I’m creating...

Dir: Yes.

B: Needs this line to show he can’t push her around.

Dir: Un Huh.

B: She needs to show her strength and independence.

Dir: Her strength is internal.

B: I think she needs to show it.

Dir: If she shows it at this point, there’s no payoff later.

B: I think she needs the line.

Dir: It’s not the way it’s written.

B: It should be.

Dir: You know more than the writer?

B: But the character...

Dir: He created the character. He created the role. He sees the whole picture. Your job is to accept, create and bring the character to life as it is and needs to be, not how you think you’d like it to be because it would make you happy at the moment.

B: It’s uncomfortable.

Dir: Of course it’s uncomfortable. Life IS uncomfortable.

B: It doesn’t mean it’s right.

Dir: It’s not about right and wrong, it’s about what it is. Life. The greater purpose, the whole picture. Now can we try it the way it is?

B: The way he wrote it?

Dir: Yes.

B: If I have to.

Dir: It would make me very happy.

B: Anything to make you happy.

Dir: Thank you. Let’s pick it up from “This is bullshit.”

The Director returns to the darkness. Actors A & B take their positions, as before. Actor B stands rigid and stares at the floor. Several moments pass. Actor A becomes impatient.

A: It’s your line.

B: I know it’s my line.

A: Well?

B: Well what?

A: Could we start?

B: I’m doing my preparation, if you don’t mind.

A: Oh.

Actor A turns away and exhales his impatience. Actor B looks back at the floor. Her hands are at her sides, clenched into fists. She begins to shake. When she finally releases the line, she speaks it one word at a time, screaming the final word.

B: This. Is. Bullshit!!!

A: You need to get a grip.


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